ARITA and ASIC to meet over levy proposal

Will the $9 million question be answered when ARITA meets ASIC?
Will ARITA chief John Winter get the answers he wants when he meets ASIC boss John Price?

ARITA chief John Winter will meet ASIC boss John Price tomorrow to discuss the proposed liquidators levy.

At its recent state conference in Perth, ARITA chief John Winter told members that neither the corporate regulator or Treasury had responded to multiple requests for detail about the proposed liquidators levy and that as a consequence he was considering lodging a freedom of information request (FOI).

The comment prompted one SiN reader to make the observation that such a threat might not enhance the relationship between ASIC and ARITA at a time when it needs improving, particularly given officers from ASIC were, according to SiN’s source, present when Winter spoke.

ARITA has been concerned to identify how the $9 million levy proposed in Treasury’s August 2015 funding model for ASIC consultation paper was arrived at. Despite repeated requests for detail, ARITA’s been rebuffed. The proposed levy purports to recover the costs ASIC spends regulating the profession but the information to help understand those costs has so far been elusive.

As it turns out however, an FOI may no longer by necessary. Winter is scheduled to meet ASIC commissioner John Price to discuss the issue tomorrow. When contacted, he told SiN that while the levy proposal consultation paper had emanated from Treasury, the numbers it used had come from ASIC.

“Treasury were provided with costs by ASIC for the basis of this discussion paper so somebody calculated this amount so how it was arrived at should be available for industry review,” Winter said.

“We are delighted that we now have a meeting. we’re not looking to pick a fight. We’re hopeful of getting something that we can then take to the profession for comment and review.”

The profession he said is particularly concerned about whether ASIC had included in the pricing information it passed to Treasury the costs it incurs when assessing allegations of director misconduct reported to it by registered liquidators.

“The default fee for an insolvency is $5000. ASIC is saying its oversight of practitioners costs nearly 20 per cent per administration. Either it is grossly inefficient or there are other costs in there,” he said.

About the Author

Peter Gosnell

Sydney Insolvency News illuminates the practice of insolvency in Australia’s largest city, highlighting the triumphs and failures of Sydney’s registered practitioners and the accounting and legal professionals who work with them. SiN is produced by Peter Gosnell, former business editor and senior business reporter at The Daily Telegraph newspaper. During a decade-long career, your correspondent reported on such notable corporate collapses as HIH, One.Tel, Westpoint and Fincorp as well as some of the nation’s highest profile bankruptcies and the investigations and prosecutions arising from Australia’s most notorious instances of white collar crime.

2 Comments on "ARITA and ASIC to meet over levy proposal"

  1. A 7% realisation charge plus remission to the commonwealth of interest earned in insolvent entities accounts might be an alternative that ARITA could support ?

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